On Wednesday, May 24th, the New York City Council Committee on Finance heard public testimony on the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024. In excess of 12 hours, Finance Chair Justin Brannan and members of the Committee on Finance heard from over 300 New Yorkers on a range of topics related to Mayor Adams’ proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. NYCETC live tweeted the first three hours of the hearing, and you can watch NYCETC’s submitted testimony and read our written testimony here.
Additional highlights from the hearing include NYCETC members providing testimony on the municipal hiring crisis, #JustPay for human services workers, and greater funding for adult literacy.
Henry Garrido, Executive Director of DC37 stated “The Mayor’s approach to PEG budget cuts has negatively impacted the lowest-wage workers – and departments across the city are losing out on critical services for the function of the city, from crossing guards to the social safety net.”
Garrido touched on what could be done to fill the 20K+ vacancies in the municipal workforce, and we agree, wage equity and work scheduling reform to timely hiring/onboarding and the creation of on-ramps to the municipal workforce through job training are all key.
At various points throughout the hearing, The Day Care Council of New York, United Neighborhood Houses, and CPC touched on the importance of funding early childhood education. Nora Moran, UNH echoed the testimony of others stating that “the budget would intentionally starve [early childhood] programs, ignoring community need. We need #JustPay for workers and investments in our social safety net.“
The calls of HSC’s #JustPay campaign infused most of the testimony from providers emphasizing the need for a 6.5% COLA for city contracted human services workers. Urban Resource Institute, Goddard Riverside, Isaacs Center, and Union Settlement additionally called for pay equity for human services workers.
Andre Ward from The Fortune Society emphasized the harmful $17M cuts to programming for incarcerated people at Rikers Island.
Other panels focused on the $60M cuts to CUNY, and defunding the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group (SRG).
Watch a full recording of the hearing here, and in related news, read Susan Stamler’s op-ed on the harmful cuts to youth services, electeds and advocates push back on CUNY’s cuts, The 5BORO Institute’s solutions to the municipal staffing crisis, and Cuts to programming that helps people incarcerated at Rikers Island are shortsighted.